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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Tourism Australia Response to Qantas

The Board of Tourism Australia convened a meeting yesterday (Wednesday 28 November) under its Deputy Chair, Kate Lamont, to consider the decision by the Qantas Group to suspend future marketing activities with the organisation.

The Board noted that Tourism Australia Chairman Geoff Dixon had previously declared an interest in Qantas, in line with Tourism Australia's existing Board Charter and Governance protocols which apply for all Directors.

It was the Board's view at the time, and remains the case, that this does not create an unmanageable conflict of interest.

Deputy Chair Kate Lamont said: "As per regular Board protocols, having declared the interest, Chairman Geoff Dixon will continue to absent himself from all matters relating to the Qantas Group."

Tourism Australia will continue to deliver on its objectives in conjunction with its partners across the industry.

Tourism Australia Managing Director Andrew McEvoy said: "The Qantas Group represents Tourism Australia's largest and highest value tourism marketing partnership. This year alone, Qantas and Tourism Australia were contributing almost $5 million each to market Australia for mutual benefit in key markets such as the United Kingdom and the USA.

"While important, this and other support, represents around 6% of Tourism Australia's total marketing effort and we are confident that our future spend won't be compromised in any way.

"It is encouraging that Qantas have committed to G'day LA / G'day USA (January 2013), the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) in Sydney in April 2013 and other planned marketing activity.

"We'd like to reassure the industry, that given the number and scale of other commercial partnerships, Tourism Australia will continue to aggressively market Australia to overseas consumers.

"Tourism Australia works with many commercial partners including 20 international airlines as well as the States and Territories, Australian industry and international travel distributors," Mr McEvoy said.

For the year ending September 2012, Australia welcomed a record six million international visitors with numbers increasing rapidly from Asia and a return to growth from the USA, Japan and other key global markets. Domestic tourism has also experienced five straight quarters of growth, while outbound travel by Australians has slowed to its lowest levels in years.

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